The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has called on food vendors to strictly adhere to the principles of food safety, hygiene and quality to promote public health and safety.
It said if vendors were able to ensure food safety, hygiene and food quality, they would be able to increase their margin of profit, consumer patronage, and members of the public would be safe.
Mr Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, the Upper East Regional Head of the FDA, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after a food hygiene and safety training workshop organized for food vendors in the Region.
The FDA annually trains workshop food vendors on basic food hygiene and food safety issues to enable them handle and present food properly to members of the public.
“Food safety, food hygiene, food quality is key in ensuring public health and safety, and the more they are able to ensure these three tenets of food processing, they are able to increase their margin of profitability and increase their level of consumer patronage.
“They should take it serious and always make sure they attend our training
programmes because we always update them with current issues of international standards which help them improve their work,” Mr Hotor told food vendors in the Region.
He said food vendors or their supervisors should have the right knowledge and qualification on food science to ensure that basic food science requirements were met to attain public safety.
“That is why we take the opportunity as FDA, to train them and keep them updated on current issues with regards to food safety and food hygiene,” he added.
The Regional Head of the Authority further advised the vendors to post “No Smoking” signs at their facilities, as part measures to ensure public safety.
He said tobacco was found not to have any useful benefit to the human body, emphasizing that “There is no safe form of tobacco use.”
Mr Hotor indicated that there were specifications and requirements for designated smoking areas, and that if food vendors were able to meet the requirements, and with the FDA’s approval, their customers could smoke in such places.
“If not, all public places are supposed to be none smoking areas, especially because those who smoke know they are smoking themselves to death, and because of addiction, they struggle to quit, and the non-smokers suffer the same consequences like them.”
He said the law protected non-smokers so that they do not suffer the same consequences as smokers in public places.
Some food vendors in interviews with the GNA after the workshop, thanked management of the FDA in the Region for its activeness, regular education and monitoring at their facilities to ensure they adhered to food safety protocols for public safety.
Madam Joyce Abayom, the owner of ‘Macclean View’ restaurant at Bukere, a suburb of Bolgatanga, told the GNA that even though they were not oblivious of the information provided at the training, a regular update was necessary to enhance their activities.